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Inside out gas turbine cleaning method

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US6394108B1
US6394108B1 US09606789 US60678900A US6394108B1 US 6394108 B1 US6394108 B1 US 6394108B1 US 09606789 US09606789 US 09606789 US 60678900 A US60678900 A US 60678900A US 6394108 B1 US6394108 B1 US 6394108B1
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compressor
gas
turbine
hose
water
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US09606789
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John Jeffrey Butler
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John Jeffrey Butler
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B08CLEANING
    • B08BCLEANING IN GENERAL; PREVENTION OF FOULING IN GENERAL
    • B08B3/00Cleaning by methods involving the use or presence of liquid or steam
    • B08B3/02Cleaning by the force of jets or sprays
    • B08B3/026Cleaning by making use of hand-held spray guns; Fluid preparations therefor
    • FMECHANICAL ENGINEERING; LIGHTING; HEATING; WEAPONS; BLASTING
    • F01MACHINES OR ENGINES IN GENERAL; ENGINE PLANTS IN GENERAL; STEAM ENGINES
    • F01DNON-POSITIVE DISPLACEMENT MACHINES OR ENGINES, e.g. STEAM TURBINES
    • F01D25/00Component parts, details, or accessories, not provided for in, or of interest apart from, other groups
    • F01D25/002Cleaning of turbomachines

Abstract

The inside out gas turbine cleaning method is a new method to clean axial gas turbine compressors. This is done by inserting a specially and fabricated flexible hose with nozzles on it into the first several stages of an off line gas turbine compressor. High pressure hot water with detergent is supplied to the hose and as it is withdrawn from the compressor it blasts dirt from the airfoil surfaces in the compressor. Conventional cleaning sprays water in one direction down the throat of the gas turbine compressor, whereas this method cleans from the back forward giving a different blast angle with higher pressure water (see FIG. 1). Using both the conventional cleaning method and this new process, the compressor can be cleaned better allowing for improved gas turbine power and fuel efficiency.

Description

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of 60/141,426 filed Jun. 29, 1999.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Gas turbines are known as “air machines”. They consume very large quantities of air. Even if extensive air filtering is utilized, particles such as dirt, impurities or smoke entrained in the air can combine with water or oil vapors and deposit on the stationary and rotating airfoils in the compressor section. These deposits are usually concentrated in the first 7 or 8 stages of the compressor. After the 7th or 8th stage, the temperature of the compressed air is too hot for the water or oil vapor to remain “sticky” and they just travel on through the engine with little impact on operation or performance. The vapor and particles that stick to the airfoils in the 1st through 8th stage can accumulate and cause a rough surface. Just as it is important for an airplane's wings to have a smooth surface, the same is true for the airfoils in a gas turbine. Rough surfaces reduce airflow and adversely affect engine performance (i.e. decrease fuel efficiency and power output). For this reason gas turbine compressors are routinely washed.

Gas turbines are usually washed by spraying water and detergent into the inlet of the gas turbine while it is spinning. In some cases the engine is running at full speed, in others, it is running or spinning (sometimes just on its starting motor) at a reduced speed. In both cases, water and detergent is sprayed down the throat of the compressor. The washing action always comes from the same direction or angle.

I developed the idea for the inside out compressor cleaning after observation of fouled gas turbine compressors and information I learned while researching for a technical paper I published pertaining to the effect of rough airfoils in the turbine section of a gas turbine. My research revealed that rough surfaces affected gas turbine performance most when this roughness was located on the low pressure (suction or convex) surfaces of the airfoils (blading), especially nearer to the trailing edge. I examined operational gas turbine compressors and noticed more dirt build up and roughness on the low pressure side of the airfoils, more toward the trailing edges. Further research revealed that roughness in this area is critical to all airfoils—not just the turbine airfoils presented in my research paper. It is in this diverging part of the airflow where the flow can change from laminar to turbulent very easily (due to a rough surface). See FIG. 2. Turbulent flow is a main contributor to friction drag and subsequent loss of airfoil performance.

I examined gas turbine compressor rotor and to study the flow of water and detergent droplets as they would flow through the compressor during conventional washing operations. I discovered that the heavier mass droplets would impact little on the low pressure (diverging or convex) sides of the airfoils. This is because much like a centrifugal separator, the droplets don't make flow direction changes as readily as a gas (in this case, air). They do not fill into diverging or expanding areas, thus providing critical impact or “push” needed for cleaning action. I realized at this point that one of the most critical surfaces on the airfoil was being neglected by conventional cleaning methods. I figured if we could clean from the back forward (inside out), we could get the low pressure surfaced cleaner (less rough). Looking down the throat of a compressor you wouldn't think you could insert a hose past several stages of blading. The blading looks too staggered to penetrate with a hose. Additionally, if a hose got stuck in the compressor, you may have to remove the compressor rotor to get the hose out; a costly operation. But with a specially designed and constructed hose/nozzle assembly you can patiently insert (snake) the hose 7 or 8 stages (14 to 16 rows of blading or airfoils) into the compressor. This is repeated between adjacent sets of blades and vanes around the entire periphery of the compressor inlet.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF INVENTION

The inside out gas turbine cleaning method is a new method to clean axial gas turbine compressors. This is done by inserting a specially and fabricated flexible hose with nozzles on it into the first several stages of an off line gas turbine compressor. High pressure hot water with detergent is supplied to the hose and as it is withdrawn from the compressor it blasts dirt from the airfoil surfaces in the compressor. Conventional cleaning sprays water in one direction down the throat of the gas turbine compressor, whereas this method cleans from the back forward giving a different blast angle with higher pressure water (see FIG. 1). Using both the conventional cleaning method and this new process, the compressor can be cleaned better allowing for improved gas turbine power and fuel efficiency.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 shows insertion of hose/nozzle assembly into first two stages of compressor.

FIG. 2 shows turbulent flow on the low pressure side of an airfoil.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Inside out gas turbine cleaning method is a new method to clean axial gas turbine compressors when said compressor is not operating (off line) and not turning. This is done by inserting a specially designed and constructed flexible hose with radial nozzles in the tip into the first several stages of an off line gas turbine compressor. The smooth hose must be “snaked” past several stages (rows of blading and vanes). Due to size and space limitations, the inside out gas turbine cleaning method can only be utilized on larger axial compressors. Once the hose/nozzle assembly if fully inserted (typically 8 stages) a hand operated valve is opened and high pressure hot water from an industrial pressure washer (with or without detergent) blasts out of the radial nozzles in the tip of the hose. As hot water blasts out of the nozzles, the hose/nozzle assembly is then slowly withdrawn past the 8 stages of blades and vanes. Dirt is blasted from the airfoil surfaces, including the low pressure, convex or “back” sides of blades and vanes. Once the hand operated valve is closed and water stops flowing, the hose/nozzle assembly is next inserted between the next pair of vanes and snaked the approximate distance of 8 stages. This is repeated around the entire periphery of the compressor inlet. This is a time consuming process but performance gains have been significant.

Conventional cleaning sprays water in one direction down the throat of the axial gas turbine compressor, whereas this method cleans from the back forward (inside out) giving a different blast angle with high pressure water. Using both the conventional cleaning method and this new method, the compressor can be cleaned better allowing for improved gas turbine power and fuel efficiency

The hose is a smooth, flexible, polymer, stainless steel braided, abrasion resistant, high performance type. It has a custom designed and manufactured tip with several radial nozzles drilled into it. The hose and tip must be specially designed to not snag, get stuck or come apart inside the compressor. Since pressure washers supply hot water at very high pressures, hose must have extremely high burst resistance. Additionally, this burst resistance must be many times higher than the pressure washer discharge pressure because of the on-off nature of the pressure washer trigger and dead end nature of the tip. A fine mesh stainless steel strainer must precede the hose to prevent the very small nozzle holes from plugging, “dead-heading” and increasing the chance of the tip popping off. Since demineralized water is generally used for cleaning and is aggressive at high pressures and flows, the hose must be made of special materials to resist corrosion/erosion. Demineralized water flowing at high velocity is known to generate high levels of destructive static electricity in a (polymer) non-conductive hose. Carbon is added to the polymer during the manufacture of the hose to make it conductive, reducing static buildup, thus reducing the chance of hose breakdown and failure.

Claims (1)

What I claim as my invention is:
1. A method of cleaning a gas turbine compressor that involves inserting a small diameter, high pressure rated, flexible, smooth hose with specially designed tip that includes radial holes or nozzles more than 4 stages into an at rest gas turbine compressor, applying high pressure water or other cleaning agent as hose is withdrawn.
US09606789 1999-06-29 2000-06-28 Inside out gas turbine cleaning method Active 2020-10-03 US6394108B1 (en)

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US10141672 US20020124874A1 (en) 1999-06-29 2002-05-07 Inside out gas turbine compressor cleaning method

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Cited By (18)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
WO2004009978A2 (en) * 2002-07-24 2004-01-29 Koch Kenneth W Methods and compositions for on-line gas turbine cleaning
US20040055626A1 (en) * 2002-08-09 2004-03-25 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Extraneous matter removing system for turbine
US20040124287A1 (en) * 2002-12-09 2004-07-01 Faip North America, Inc. High-pressure hose and pressure washer
US20040255422A1 (en) * 2003-06-18 2004-12-23 Reback Scott Mitchell Methods and apparatus for injecting cleaning fluids into combustors
US20050199270A1 (en) * 2004-03-12 2005-09-15 John Watt Mobile flushing unit and process
US20060024140A1 (en) * 2004-07-30 2006-02-02 Wolff Edward C Removable tap chasers and tap systems including the same
US20060048796A1 (en) * 2004-02-16 2006-03-09 Peter Asplund Method and apparatus for cleaning a turbofan gas turbine engine
US20060081521A1 (en) * 2004-06-14 2006-04-20 Carl-Johan Hjerpe System and devices for collecting and treating waste water from engine washing
US20090083960A1 (en) * 2007-09-27 2009-04-02 Holland Brian K Pressurized cleaning of a turbine engine component
US20090317230A1 (en) * 2006-12-04 2009-12-24 Tease William K Turbine system for utilizing the energy of oceanic waves
US20100212703A1 (en) * 2009-02-20 2010-08-26 De La Bruere-Terreault Julien Compressor wash nozzle integrated in an inlet case strut
US20130019895A1 (en) * 2011-06-22 2013-01-24 Envirochem Solutions Llc Use of coke compositions for on-line gas turbine cleaning
CN103375201A (en) * 2012-04-25 2013-10-30 通用电气公司 System and method for reconditioning turbine engines in power generation systems
DE102013002636A1 (en) 2013-02-18 2014-08-21 Jürgen von der Ohe Device for jet cleaning of unit, particularly of gas turbine jet engines of airplane, has jet nozzle with introduction stop, which limits depth of insertion of jet nozzle into opening, where twist element is arranged to introduction stop
DE102013002635A1 (en) 2013-02-18 2014-08-21 Jürgen von der Ohe Method for cold jet cleaning of turbine components and e.g. gas turbine engine, of aircraft in airport, involves mixing solid body particles comprising water ice particles into pressure medium of gas and/or water in order to form core jet
WO2014124755A1 (en) 2013-02-18 2014-08-21 Der Ohe Jürgen Von Method and device for cold jet cleaning
CN101776010B (en) * 2004-02-16 2015-04-01 伊科服务有限责任公司 Method and equipment for cleaning turbofan gas turbine engine
US20160114361A1 (en) * 2012-09-06 2016-04-28 United Technologies Corporation Wash device

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EP1970133A1 (en) * 2007-03-16 2008-09-17 Lufthansa Technik AG Device and method for cleaning the core engine of a turbojet engine
US8277647B2 (en) 2007-12-19 2012-10-02 United Technologies Corporation Effluent collection unit for engine washing
US7445677B1 (en) 2008-05-21 2008-11-04 Gas Turbine Efficiency Sweden Ab Method and apparatus for washing objects
CN101961720B (en) * 2010-09-29 2013-01-23 南京梅山冶金发展有限公司 Gieseler fluidity tester cleaning method
DE102011015252A1 (en) * 2011-03-28 2012-10-04 Lufthansa Technik Ag Cleaning lance and methods for cleaning of thrusters

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US6073637A (en) * 1998-01-30 2000-06-13 Speciality Chemical Holdings Limited Cleaning method and apparatus
US6311704B1 (en) * 2000-03-03 2001-11-06 Hydrochem Industrial Services Methods and apparatus for chemically cleaning turbines

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US3623668A (en) * 1968-03-04 1971-11-30 Gen Electric Wash manifold
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Cited By (49)

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US7185663B2 (en) 2002-07-24 2007-03-06 Koch Kenneth W Methods and compositions for on-line gas turbine cleaning
US20040016445A1 (en) * 2002-07-24 2004-01-29 Koch Kenneth W. Methods and compositions for on-line gas turbine cleaning
WO2004009978A3 (en) * 2002-07-24 2005-07-14 Mark D Hughes Methods and compositions for on-line gas turbine cleaning
WO2004009978A2 (en) * 2002-07-24 2004-01-29 Koch Kenneth W Methods and compositions for on-line gas turbine cleaning
US20040055626A1 (en) * 2002-08-09 2004-03-25 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. Extraneous matter removing system for turbine
US20090217949A1 (en) * 2002-08-09 2009-09-03 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. Extraneous matter removing system for turbine
US7922825B2 (en) 2002-08-09 2011-04-12 Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Compressor Corporation Extraneous matter removing system for turbine
US7222644B2 (en) * 2002-12-09 2007-05-29 Faip North America, Inc. High-pressure hose and pressure washer
US20040124287A1 (en) * 2002-12-09 2004-07-01 Faip North America, Inc. High-pressure hose and pressure washer
US20040255422A1 (en) * 2003-06-18 2004-12-23 Reback Scott Mitchell Methods and apparatus for injecting cleaning fluids into combustors
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US20060048796A1 (en) * 2004-02-16 2006-03-09 Peter Asplund Method and apparatus for cleaning a turbofan gas turbine engine
EP2213845A1 (en) 2004-02-16 2010-08-04 Gas Turbine Efficiency AB Method and apparatus for cleaning a turbofan gas turbine engine
CN101776010B (en) * 2004-02-16 2015-04-01 伊科服务有限责任公司 Method and equipment for cleaning turbofan gas turbine engine
US7497220B2 (en) 2004-02-16 2009-03-03 Gas Turbine Efficiency Ab Method and apparatus for cleaning a turbofan gas turbine engine
US20050199270A1 (en) * 2004-03-12 2005-09-15 John Watt Mobile flushing unit and process
US7198052B2 (en) * 2004-03-12 2007-04-03 General Electric Company Mobile flushing unit and process
US7305998B2 (en) 2004-03-12 2007-12-11 General Electric Company Mobile flushing unit and process
US9376932B2 (en) 2004-06-14 2016-06-28 Ecoservices, Llc Turboengine water wash system
US20080216873A1 (en) * 2004-06-14 2008-09-11 Gas Turbine Efficiency Ab System and devices for collecting and treating waste water from engine washing
EP1897806A2 (en) 2004-06-14 2008-03-12 Gas Turbine Efficiency AB System for washing an aero gas turbine engine
US9316115B2 (en) 2004-06-14 2016-04-19 Ecoservices, Llc Turboengine wash system
US20080040872A1 (en) * 2004-06-14 2008-02-21 Carl-Johan Hjerpe System for Washing an Aero Gas Turbine Engine
US7297260B2 (en) * 2004-06-14 2007-11-20 Gas Turbine Efficiency Ab System and devices for collecting and treating waste water from engine washing
US9708928B2 (en) 2004-06-14 2017-07-18 Ecoservices, Llc Turboengine water wash system
US20060081521A1 (en) * 2004-06-14 2006-04-20 Carl-Johan Hjerpe System and devices for collecting and treating waste water from engine washing
EP2263809A2 (en) 2004-06-14 2010-12-22 Gas Turbine Efficiency AB System for washing an aero gas turbine engine
US9657589B2 (en) 2004-06-14 2017-05-23 Ecoservices, Llc System for washing an aero gas turbine engine
US8479754B2 (en) 2004-06-14 2013-07-09 Ecoservices, Llc System for washing an aero gas turbine engine
DE202005021819U1 (en) 2004-06-14 2010-05-12 Gas Turbine Efficiency Sweden Ab System for washing a gas turbine engine air
US20060024140A1 (en) * 2004-07-30 2006-02-02 Wolff Edward C Removable tap chasers and tap systems including the same
US20090317230A1 (en) * 2006-12-04 2009-12-24 Tease William K Turbine system for utilizing the energy of oceanic waves
US8388301B2 (en) * 2006-12-04 2013-03-05 Voith Patent Gmbh Turbine system for utilizing the energy of oceanic waves
US20090083960A1 (en) * 2007-09-27 2009-04-02 Holland Brian K Pressurized cleaning of a turbine engine component
US8001669B2 (en) 2007-09-27 2011-08-23 United Technologies Corporation Pressurized cleaning of a turbine engine component
US20100212703A1 (en) * 2009-02-20 2010-08-26 De La Bruere-Terreault Julien Compressor wash nozzle integrated in an inlet case strut
US8245952B2 (en) 2009-02-20 2012-08-21 Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. Compressor wash nozzle integrated in an inlet case strut
US8337630B2 (en) 2009-02-20 2012-12-25 Pratt & Whitney Canada Corp. Method for cleaning the compressor of a gas turbine engine
US20130019895A1 (en) * 2011-06-22 2013-01-24 Envirochem Solutions Llc Use of coke compositions for on-line gas turbine cleaning
US8535449B2 (en) * 2011-06-22 2013-09-17 Envirochem Solutions Llc Use of coke compositions for on-line gas turbine cleaning
CN103375201B (en) * 2012-04-25 2016-05-18 通用电气公司 Systems and methods for repairing a turbine engine power generation system
CN103375201A (en) * 2012-04-25 2013-10-30 通用电气公司 System and method for reconditioning turbine engines in power generation systems
US9260968B2 (en) 2012-04-25 2016-02-16 General Electric Company Systems and methods for reconditioning turbine engines in power generation systems
US20160114361A1 (en) * 2012-09-06 2016-04-28 United Technologies Corporation Wash device
DE102013002635A1 (en) 2013-02-18 2014-08-21 Jürgen von der Ohe Method for cold jet cleaning of turbine components and e.g. gas turbine engine, of aircraft in airport, involves mixing solid body particles comprising water ice particles into pressure medium of gas and/or water in order to form core jet
DE102013002636A1 (en) 2013-02-18 2014-08-21 Jürgen von der Ohe Device for jet cleaning of unit, particularly of gas turbine jet engines of airplane, has jet nozzle with introduction stop, which limits depth of insertion of jet nozzle into opening, where twist element is arranged to introduction stop
WO2014124755A1 (en) 2013-02-18 2014-08-21 Der Ohe Jürgen Von Method and device for cold jet cleaning

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